Aviation

Korean Air defends pilot who tried to drink alcohol inflight, demotes cabin crew member for reporting it

Korean Air has defended a pilot who attempted to drink alcohol inflight and reportedly demoted the person responsible for reporting him.

The airline has said the pilot’s actions “didn’t cause real trouble”, and has reportedly demoted the member of cabin crew who reported him.

According to local media reports, the captain tried to pick up a glass of champagne from the welcome drinks tray before take-off on a flight from South Korea to Amsterdam in December 2018.

A member of the cabin crew reportedly stopped him, saying “you can’t drink alcohol”.

Midway through the flight, the pilot reportedly requested a “cup of wine” from a member of cabin crew. He was refused and the flight attendant reported the incident to the cabin crew manager.

The cabin crew manager later let other crew and the co-pilot know what had happened, but instructed them not to mention anything to the captain until after the plane had landed further to concerns over his mental state.

However, the co-pilot reportedly told the captain prior to touchdown, which resulted in the manager and co-pilot having an “altercation”. Korean Air reportedly investigated the claims after the cabin crew manager filed a formal complaint regarding the incident.

It has been reported the captain received a verbal warning, while the manager was demoted for “causing conflict” onboard the flight.

“It’s true the captain made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause real trouble,” a Korean Air spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the cabin crew manager was responsible for using “insulting words during the altercation and revealing the internal issue”.

The airline alleges the manager shared the incident on the airline’s anonymous online message board.



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